The Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management (BBWARM) District  was created in response to community concerns about water quality, flooding, and loss of aquatic habitat in the Birch Bay Watershed. BBWARM’s stormwater program focuses on protecting water quality and reducing stormwater impacts. Explore our website to learn more about what BBWARM is doing and how you can get involved. 


BBWARM Advisory Committee Meeting 

The next meeting of the Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management (BBWARM) District Advisory Committee will be held on Wednesday, April 17th at 6 p.m. at the Northwest Annex (5280 Northwest Drive) and virtually on Zoom. There are two special presentations scheduled: 1. Tetra Tech, Inc will present a preliminary design for the Semiahmoo Drive South & Outfall Improvements capital improvement project scheduled for construction in 2025; and 2. FCS Group will present their revenue requirement findings as the next step of the BBWARM rate study and funding analysis. The general public is invited to attend and a public comment period will be held at the beginning of the meeting. 


You can view the 2024 meeting schedule, documents, and Zoom link on the BBWARM Advisory Committee website.  


The BBWARM District service charge has remained unchanged since its inception in 2009. The rates are based on the density of impervious surface area on a property, such as pavement, rooftops, driveways, and parking areas. The average single-family home in Birch Bay has 4,000 square feet of impervious surface and pays $75 annually. Due to the long list of stormwater improvement projects needed in Birch Bay and rising construction costs, it has become clear that a rate study, and likely a service charge increase, is warranted.

The rate study and funding analysis will help determine the total rate revenue required to meet BBWARM’s financial obligations, allowing BBWARM to continue providing valuable services to the community. The county’s consultant presented findings from the first policy paper and a comparison of current BBWARM fees with stormwater utility rates from nearby jurisdictions at a presentation on January 17th. The public is encouraged to attend and provide feedback at the February and April advisory committee meetings. Results from the technical analysis and a recommended rate structure will be presented in April. A final recommendation is anticipated to be presented to the County Council in June for their consideration, at which point there will be a public hearing.


“Participating in the [Neighborhood Native Landscaping] program to install low-impact natural landscaping turned out to be one of smartest and easiest decisions we made.  We could not believe the wonderful outcome; seeing our yard as a thing of beauty and helping the environment at the same time.” – Pat & Bev Jerns

Pat and Bev have always felt a special connection to Birch Bay. After moving there in 1987, they feel especially responsible for protecting the beauty and health of the area they love. When they heard about the Neighborhood Native Landscaping Program (NNLP) in the local paper, they thought it would be an excellent fit for their property and the bay. Read more about their experience in their Conservation Story.

Are you interested in participating in NNLP? Visit the program website to learn more and complete the online interest form.

NNLP is a partnership between Whatcom County, Whatcom Conservation District, and Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management (BBWARM) District.


Have you ever seen a stormwater-related issue and didn’t know what to do about it? Whatcom County Public Works has a quick and easy way to report problems. This form is sent directly to Whatcom County staff who can help address the issues.  

The link to the form can be found at the top of the Public Works website

Use the “Flooding and Drainage Problems” category on this form to report signs of stormwater infrastructure issues such as: 

Use the “Water Quality - pollution and spills” category on this form to report pollution-related issues like: